BERLIN – Town officials approved a local boy’s plan to install wood duck boxes at Heron Park this week.
On Monday, the town council voted unanimously to approve a request from Worcester County 4-H member Ewan Betz, who wants to install duck boxes near the ponds at Heron Park. Betz plans to put boxes near the ponds at Heron Park.
“I love birding at Heron Park because it is near my house and wood ducks are beautiful creatures and we could attract more of them to the park,” Betz said.
Betz, 11, presented the council with a proposal to build and install two or three wood duck boxes in the area of Heron Park nearest the ponds. The boxes would be made of cedar planks and placed on posts about six feet off the ground. When asked how long the boxes would last, Betz said he expected them to last 25 years because they’d be made of quality materials and would be checked regularly to ensure they weren’t in need of repairs.
He committed to ensuring they were cleaned as needed and said he was working with local birding expert Dave Wilson to determine the best locations for the boxes.
Betz added that there could be an added benefit to attracting more birds to the park.
“It would also bring birders to town and they might stay and get some lunch and shop,” he said.
Mayor Zack Tyndall acknowledged the possibility of secondary economic benefits.
“Your wood duck boxes could help drive some revenue to downtown businesses,” he said. “That’s good to hear.”
Mary Bohlen, deputy town administrator, said that the Berlin Parks Commission hadn’t had time to officially weigh in on the project but that they’d support it.
“This is definitely something they’d very much be in favor of,” she said. “I have no doubt about their support.”
The council went on to vote unanimously to support the proposal. Bronwyn Betz, Ewan’s mother, said her son was looking forward to the project.
“He is an avid birder who enjoys regularly birding at Heron Park,” she said.
When Wilson mentioned to him that wood duck boxes would be a great addition to Heron Park, Ewan Betz jumped on the idea, as he and his dad built dozens of house wren boxes last year.
“He is excited to help even a few ducks have a better life and to help ensure a good breeding season,” she said.